Moments before entering The Broad Museum in Downtown Los Angeles to see Keith Haring’s comprehensive career retrospective Art Is For Everybody, I (coincidentally) received an email reviewing the show. The article was titled Is Art for Everybody? Despite being very familiar with Haring’s work, I wanted to avoid any spoilers, so I waited to read the article; however, as I walked through the exhibit, that headline stuck with me.
The Monokini (1964) was Rudi Gernreich’s swimsuit of the future. The topless design was controversial, making it difficult to find a model willing to be photographed wearing it. Ultimately, only one image of the suit (taken from behind) was published, in Look magazine. At the urging of look editor, Suzanne Kirtland, a wider selection of images appeared in Women’s Wear Daily and later, in Life, where many American readers took note.
Continue reading Eye On Design: Monokini Topless Swimsuit By Rudi Gernreich
Marjorie Strider’s work draws on the vast image cache of popular culture, especially representations of women in men’s magazines and advertisements. She recasts these depictions with the subversive edge and an ironic bite, as exemplified by Girl With Radish (1963), which at first glance, looks like an image one would find in a pin up or on a billboard. Upon sustained viewing, however, the woman’s deadpan stare becomes increasingly confrontational. She looks deliberately out at the viewer, questioning the power dynamics of the conventional male gaze. Continue reading Modern Art Monday Presents: Marjorie Strider, Girl With Radish
My first exposure to Banksy — the pseudonymous British street artist (some say consortium) whose irreverent works of socio-political satire have appeared in site-specific locations across the globe — was a visit to his October, 2008 immersive Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill. Located in a Greenwich Village, NYC storefront and filled with surreal creations both familiar and exotic, the installation was designed to look like a typical pet store, but with a twist. While there was no actual Charcoal Grill serving food, rather than selling live animals, the store featured a variety of animatronic pets, including fish sticks swimming in a fish bowl, ‘chicken nugget’ baby chicks and a rabbit applying makeup before a mirrored vanity.
James Rosenquist (1933 – 2017) began his career as a commercial sign painter. Working for the Artkraft Strauss Sign Corporation, he produced vibrant representations of consumer goods until committing to a career as an artist in 1960. Renting a studio in Coenties Slip on the waterfront of the Financial District, he began to make paintings that combined a well-known, slick advertising vocabulary with a wry ambivalence about the rampant consumerism he saw all around him. Continue reading Modern Art Monday Presents: James Rosenquist, Sightseeing